A modern day Rapunzel with a much more child orientated story.
When Amy was born she didn’t have much hair and her daddy had lots. Soon, however, their roles are reversed. Amy has loads of hair while her dad’s hair has disappeared. In fact, Amy has so much hair that it regularly gets out of control. Luckily her dad has an unusual solution – he creates the most wonderful hairdos. This includes ‘the ice cream cone’, the ‘castle in the clouds’ and ‘the triple beehive’. It’s not long before everyone want one of Daddy’s Hairdos. However, like her original long hair, these creative styles turn out to be very inconvenient, especially when they prevent poor Amy getting through the door to the sweetshop. Luckily, Dad has an idea for the very best hairdo of all.
In theory, this brief summary gives you an idea what this book is about. In practice, however, it simply doesn’t do justice to this truly original book. The concept is simply inspired and the execution is top-notch. Added to this, it’s packed with humour for both children and adults.
On the surface the text is simple and relatively Spartan but dig beneath this and you’ll realise every word is carefully chosen. I particularly enjoyed the deliberate symmetry as Amy grows to have hair while dad loses his. The search for his missing hair also made me laugh out loud, especially when he’s head down in a dustbin looking for it while Amy is also busy producing posters for his missing hair.
The pictures by Claire Powell perfectly compliment this story and, as indicated above, add a whole extra dimension to an already clever text. Indeed, I’d suggest all adult readers take the time to read the titles of the books that dad and Amy read when trying to find out where hair goes. Also, the names of the papers and magazines on the seller’s stand! Children, in contrast, will probably prefer to check out the antics of the various animals in the book which include a spider, a frog, a cat, and a dog who sports his own slightly outrageous hairdos. (There’s a particularly lovely picture of the dog in sunglasses when dad’s hairdos become the talk of the town.)
The overall pacing of both the text and the pictures is good with large and small pictures and there is good use of enlarged words for emphasis. Without a doubt this is a book that will stand reading and re-reading as all picture books should.
If you enjoyed this and are looking for another incredibly original picture book, I’d recommend you check out Space Tortoise by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield or Bonkers about Beetroot by Cath Jones and Chris Jevons
Date: September 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Websites: Francis Martin and Claire Powell